Interview - Greg Tingle

Interview: Greg Tingle, Director of Media Man Australia, by Evan Ginzburg -
WBAI Radio - 25th February 2004


Tell us how a self-professed "blue collar" guy began one of the top media sites in the world?

Well, firstly Evan, thanks for the great opportunity of being interviewed by you. Your operation is respected around the world, even here "down under".

Back in 1996 when The Sydney Water Board was undergoing restructuring, they were offering generous voluntary redundancy packages to just about everyone. At the same time, my wife (ex), kept telling me that I was a "good talker", and should try to use this and my brain (as opposed to my muscles), to my advantage.

I applied as a sales rep for Optus Vision, the new force in Australian Pay TV at the time. After almost quitting having been thrown into FOXTEL territory at Strathfield, I started to kick some serious ass in Pay TV sales in Australia, including grabbing the title, "Salesperson of the Month". A few years later Optus underwent restructuring, and I jumped ship to their competitor and Australia's #1 Telco, Telstra Corporation.

Again, I blitzed the sales records in the corporate arena. I worked for Telstra for almost 2 years, and got sick of waiting for the right employment promotion, so I moved on. In this time I started writing articles for technology journals like and giving "journos' scoops on the technology business.

In 2000 I joined ID Media (web development and web casting company), and became the front-line man for sales and marketing. Our best client was Radio 2UE. My flagship was WaveCam - a webcasting portal with web cams around the top beaches of Australia. In September of this year I called 2UE broadcasting legend, John Laws, to give him the inside scoop of the interesting going ons at the Olympic Village at Homebush, where I was assisting in the role of volunteer in the technology section. I was doing everything from fixing fax machines to building websites for the athletes. Laws gave me approx 6 minutes of golden air time on Sydney's #1 talk back radio program. I didn't think much of it at the time, but then I thought to myself, what would happen if I did make a concerted effort in the media "space"? I decided that I wanted to build a website of my own, and Paul O'Neill, a good mate, got me started with

In early 2001, I started "hanging around" the local community TV station, Channel 31. After a few weeks the producer, Joy Hruby must have realised I was serious about this media stuff, and allowed me to assist with camera work, and a week later I did a live TV interview! Joy must have thought I had potential, as I was invited back, and soon became a regular! I still help them out today, particularly on the big shows, like the Australia Day special, where we filmed at Darling Harbour.

June 2002 saw me enrol in News Media & Journalism cert III at Petersham TAFE. Within 2 months of starting the course I cracked the front-page of The Southern Courier, with "Jump On Board", which was about the community group I was part of, achieving a skatepark build project at my local beach, Maroubra. Then "everybody" wanted in. My Internet presence started to skyrocket. John Laws allowed me to mention my website address on national radio (at no charge), as it was about to go live. My 2nd Law's call was even picked up on by "The Australia" (media section) and ABC "Media Watch". The "pitch" was that former Telstra and Optus sales guru, "preferred" Telstra. When you have the certificates to back up the claim, it's powerful stuff. 2UE's Mike Carlton and Larry Endure also gave me radio time, to discuss projects of mine, that the audience could find out more about on the web. Leichhardt's "Rats In The Ranks", about council corruption, is a classic. My writings about the crime spree in Maroubra also got a great deal of attention! Radio 2UE, 2GB and ABC Radio National grabbed the ball and ran with it.

For the remainder of the year I kept interviewing newsworthy people and later built my company website and showcased the interviews in text and multimedia, along with articles, photos and the like. As part of the strategy, I drove traffic from my first attempt at a website; , into the Media Man company website. I believe a professional website is important for anyone or at least any company, in the media business. Derryn Hinch told me, "you can't escape me", meaning that if your doing TV, radio, print and web that your in everyone's face. The one and only "Media Dissector", Danny Schechter gave me a 40 minute interview that achieved enormous exposure and was a real credibility grabber. Max Markson, director of Markson Sparks! has been great, as has Harry M. Miller and Michael and Kevin Jacobsen. All of these men gave me interviews and time, when they didn't have to. It's put money and exposure back in their pockets, yet again!

Once in a while someone really opens their heart to you. Brett Clements of "Wonder World", "Animal Planet" and "Hit TV" fame is one such person. I plugged the "Hit TV" website big time on ABC and Talk 1116 Radio. It's a small industry, and I have made some wonderful relationships in it, and many of my clients and guests have become really good mates. Broadcasting legends, Doug Mulray and Phillip Adams both gave me awesome, "cutting edge" interviews that some other media companies would have likely censored the heck out of, but I ran them, raw! ABC TV icon, Andrew Denton was most encouraging when I met him at his studio, and his office later thanked me for my coverage of them on the Internet. David Steinhoff and his team have also been most helpful, and always have a camera handy when I need one! Again, collaboration is paramount.

Last August, my coverage of the California election helped bring my business to the next level on an international scale. Abner Zurd, Ric Drasin, Steve Spernak and Daniel Weintraub made themselves available for interviews, beyond the call of duty, and gave me some mega Internet exposure. I think my positive articles on Arnold Schwarzenegger and "The New Breed" of politicians worked like a charm.

Most successful media and promotions figures are using all mediums of media to their advantage, and that of their clients.

Collaboration with other top line media figures and websites is also part of "the secret". Some of the key companies / websites that have assisted me include:

Lately, Gary Young (film maker "Cosy Cool" and "Wheels On Fire") and Mick Butz (owner of "The World's Largest Steer) have been most helpful, and I'm developing websites for them. Promoting good (and unique) "stuff" is important.

Evan, I could go on all day with the list of people and companies that have helped me, however, these are the main ones.

Wow, look at the size of the answer. It's quite a story, and I intend to write the book one day, when I have enough time to do it justice.

You have an eclectic mix of interviews and press releases from virtually all forms of the entertainment and other industries. Tell us the purpose of your site?

There are a number of purposes for the site. Exposure, promotion and having a place to showcase my work, and my clients, is the main purpose. As the saying goes, "the man who owns the press, runs the press". We might not own our own TV station or newspaper, but we are getting there. These days, TV stations, newspapers and radio stations often ring me up for comment, so that should tell you a story mate! My clients and I like to be noticed. The website makes sure we are public 24 hours a day. 130,000 plus site visitors per month can't be wrong. In my business, exposure is money in the bank.

You're a big wrestling fan and there is wrestling content on your site. What is your background in wrestling?

I've been a fan of it since my late father, "Tricky Ricky" Tingle introduced me to the old WCW and WWF in early 1970 something. We used to go to the Sydney clubs to see our mate, "The Balmain Tiger", George Barnes, get bumped around the ring like you wouldn't believe. I wouldn't be surprised if Shawn Michaels or Mick Foley saw some of Barnes's old wrestling tapes. We watched it religiously on TV, even into the wee hours of the morning. In 1995 I went to a few pro wrestling training workouts. After a few workouts, I quit. The training is a real killer, and I was in top shape. It's easier to report on the business than to do it!

Is having wrestling content a "stigma" for a legitimate site- do other people in the entertainment industry snub their noses at wrestling?

In the last few years pro wrestling has gained a lot of respect in Australia, and particularly in entertainment circles. Many "footy" starts and socialities and fame seekers get involved with the wrestling, as they appreciate its art and entertainment form, and they want a piece of the action. I don't blame them. Look, there will always be people who don't "get it", but I believe that the majority of the adult Australian population understands professional wrestling for what it is. As for the folks who snub their noses at sports entertainment - there's no help for them. They need to get with the program!

Discuss the power of the Internet. I noticed on your site that it truly has international representation from Israeli events to the US to Australia where you're based and most everywhere in between...

We have a worldwide audience. I could never afford to pay all the other media outlets and platforms for that kind of exposure, but the Internet gives it to me. It's also important to remember that your audience is more than just "Aussies" and "Yanks". Asia and Europe are "hotbeds" for the new millennium in the media business. We can't be everything to everyone, but we try. If you have an Internet connection, you can find my clients and I…it's that simple - well, almost!

Who were some of your favourite interviews subjects that you've spoken with for the site?

Doug Mulray (for humor and goodwill)
Phillip Adams (controversial and intelligence)
Brett Clements (for being on the same wavelength regarding talent, and offering me a gig)
Danny Schechter (for 40 minutes, integrity and name value)
Max Markson (for motivation, sincerity and friendship, that will soon lead to big money)
Harry M. Miller (for 10 minutes that he probably didn't have, and for advising me to focus on positives)
Lee Tien (for opening my eyes to the advantages and disadvantages of technology)
Robbie Swan (witty, hard hitting and open about censorship issues)
Steve Rackman (for his insight into Australian pro wrestling)
Killer Kowalski (for a look into the glory days of wrestling)
Ric Drasin (for outlining the importance of having a few projects on the go)
Abner Zurd (for keeping media and politics fun)
Billy Munro (for his creative inspiration and tales from the road)
Jeff Fenech (a boxing living legend with heart and generosity)
Yvette Moore
Now, I just need to do an official interview with you, on-the-air, and we are set up!

It seems that for a site that started just one year ago, there's been incredible growth. How has that come about?

It's part technical, part know how, and of course, vision. As they say, "I had a dream". Meta tags are important, as are search engines and linking, but you need to use other forms of media to advertise you website, as we have done. Blanket coverage and finding your audience are very important.

I notice that many wrestling promoters and others have trouble filling their seats. What's the secret of good PR/publicity?

Give the audience what they want, and make sure they find out about your product. Get on TV, get airtime on radio, get a piece in the newspaper, posters up on the walls, and get mentioned on Media Man Australia! Make lots of friends and contacts in the media, and the battle is just about won.

Tell us about your role on Reality TV in Australia?

In the course of my business, I interview a lot of media and entertainment figures, including many in the Reality TV business. In September of last year I became of a new Reality TV program entitled Hit! Via the YouthGas newsgroup that I subscribe to.

After considerable negotiation I secured an interview with H'it! TV creator, Brett Clements, who our readers would know better from "Just For The Record", "Simon Townsend's Wonder World" and "The Aquanauts" (Animal Planet).

It turned out that Brett was impressed by my interview technique, and my enthusiasm for the industry. We also shared similar ideas on the Reality TV industry. Before you can say "Hit", Brett said, "I know what I can do you with, you can be a judge"! I later interviewed his business partner, Kate Neale, and I I've also done much of their online and radio station PR and promotional work. Talk radio has also shown interest in Reality TV! ABC Radio in Perth and Talk 1116 needed an authority on the Reality TV business, and they called for comment, and not by coincidence, they heard all about Hit, and the other Reality TV programs.

I should mention, just a few weeks ago a deal was struck to see Hi't! be delivered to the massed. Hit! has been licensed to Ambient Concept and will be produced by Michael Boughen, formally Executive Producer of "Southern Star". Brett and I are really excited that the hard work and preparation has paid off.

Reality TV is also all over the Internet. Take the challenge to do a search for "Reality TV Australia" in Google, and Media Man Australia is right up there, as you would expect.

I'm currently working on a number of TV and film projects, including representing Australian film director, Gary Young. These also have a Reality TV edge to them (but doesn't everything these days!) By the way, Gary has a TV station for sale in New Zealand if you know anyone interested. Ric Drasin and Lorraine "Abner Zurd" Fontanes in California also have me assisting on some work relating to pro wrestling, vampires and politics! More information on this can be found in the interviews, multimedia and articles sections of our company website.

What are your goals for

1. To earn the income that I deserve
2. To become fully profitable
3. To be on mainstream TV more often (bring on H'it! And FOX.
4. To get more time at the beach
5. To buy a property 300kms from Sydney (where its more relaxing)
6. To secure more sponsors for The World's Largest Steer and AWF Pro Wrestling (I'm working on Virgin, Vodafone, QANTAS, Coke, Sony, Elders and The Variety Association, that Paul Hogan helped establish, just to name a few
7. To be published in other newspapers more often
8. To find a buyer for movies "Cosy Cool", "Wheels On Fire", "Demon Seed" and "The California Kid"
9. To continue to have a hell of a lot of fun
10. To do a working holiday overseas including reporting on our friends in New York and California

Evan, thanks for this wonderful opportunity. It is greatly appreciated. See you in New York!


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